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Nestlé Health Science buys medical device firm

Acquisition of UK's Phagenesis expected to be completed by 2019

Nestlé Health Science is continuing to expand its interests in the broader pharma space with the acquisition of UK medical device firm and dysphagia specialist Phagenesis.

While the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, the US food giant's quickly-growing health business will be making an upfront payment for Phagenesis, followed by a series of milestone-based funding.

The staged acquisition is expected to close in 2019 but hinges on the successful completion of the European and US development programmes for Phagenesis' lead product, Phagenyx.

Currently available in Austria, Germany and the UK, Phagenyx is a novel medical device developed by the Manchester-headquartered firm that is designed to restore the neurological control of swallowing.

Instead of merely tackling the symptoms of the condition, Phagenyx establishes a mechanism of action to deliver Pharyngeal Electrical Stimulation (PES) to treat the root cause of dysphagia.

Greg Behar, chief executive at Nestlé Health Science, said: “Dysphagia is a strategic focus for Nestlé Health Science.

“This innovation can bring a new dimension to swallowing rehabilitation that can be transformational from a patient and healthcare professional perspective.”

Dysphagia affects between 29% and 55% of stroke patients, and with approximately 15 million people suffering a stroke each year, the condition has a high prevalence but is often under-diagnosed.

If left untreated, dysphagia can lead to life-threatening complications, including aspiration pneumonia, dehydration and malnutrition, as well as a greatly reduced quality of life.

Reinhard Krickl, Phagenesis' chief executive officer, added: “Nestlé Health Science is the leading global player in dysphagia with capabilities and reach to enable Phagenesis to accelerate the development and deployment of Phagenyx to patients around the world.”

Nestlé has been building its health portfolio steadily over the past few years, and this year entered into research and development partnerships with US-based Seres Therapeutics and Chinese firm Medidata.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

5th September 2016

From: Sales



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